By Iyemah David
Some Nigerians residing in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have joined the world to salute midwives on the 2022 International Day of the Midwife.
They called on the Federal Government to ensure that midwives achieved their full potential across the country by contributing to enable them improve maternal health and reduce newborn mortality.
The residents made the call in separate interviews on Thursday in Abuja in commemoration of this year’s edition of International Day of the Midwife.
Midwives are health care professionals who provide an array of health care services for women including gynecological examinations, contraceptive counseling and prescriptions.
They also provide labour and delivery care, including after birth services.
It is because of their professionalism and expertise that midwives are often part of labour and delivery teams in hospitals.
Mr Sanni Ali, a biologist, said that investing in midwives was key to achieving universal health coverage in the country.
Ali said that midwives and other medical workers worked on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support to millions of Nigerians nationwide.
He said that midwives constituted the bedrock of Nigeria’s healthcare system.
“They make up over 50 per cent of the workforce in the country’s healthcare delivery system.
“It is important for us to note that despite the passion and sacrifices of the midwives they have continued to face a lot of challenges such as limited to security,” he said.
Ali said that midwives were also the champions of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Mrs Veronica Malu, a civil servant, said that midwives were critical in healthcare delivery, adding that the nation’s healthcare system lacked enogh midwives.
Malu urged governmenta to support more recruitment and facilitate better remuneration and training of midwives to enhance the quality of their service.
“Improving training needs for midwives should be a priority and also providing information package for doctors and midwives to reduce maternal deaths across the country should be on the front burner” she said.
Dr Gabriel Adekola, a public health expert, also identified capacity building as a critical area of focus to improve midwives’ quality of service in the country.
“As they celebrate this day with the theme; ‘100 years of progress.’ This is another year for them to do their best, ensure that women do not die while giving birth.
“They should change the lives of women; they should strive to ensure safe motherhood across the country,” he advised.
Health Reporters recalls that the International Day of the Midwife is celebrated annually on May, 5.
It provides the opportunity to honour midwives and promote awareness on the crucial care they provide for mothers and their newborns.
This year marks 100 years of the establishment of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).
There are currently 143 midwives’ associations representing 124 countries worldwide, including the Confederation of African Midwives Associations (CONAMA), which was inaugurated in 2013.